CSU Bakersfield President's Monthly Campus Update
Horace Mitchell, Ph.D.

Community engagement is a keystone of our vision for excellence. Being responsive to the needs of the region we serve lies at the heart of our mission. At both the individual and institutional level, faculty, staff, and students at CSUB are engaged in a range of community outreach activities, partnerships, and collaborations which mutually benefit the university and the community. This issue of the Update will highlight a few of our current community partnerships as well as our commitment to foster a sustainable campus and community.

Nursing Grant
California's severe nursing shortage is even more critical here in the San Joaquin Valley. To help alleviate the nursing shortage in the Central Valley, CSUB's Nursing Department was awarded a $100,000 grant by the Governor's California Nurse Education Initiative. The funding will allow the nursing program to increase its admissions capacity by 50%, training 36 students in addition to the existing 60. The grant also will be utilized to increase the number of nursing faculty, increase clinical nursing simulation capacity, and expand academic advising and retention programs. The California Nurse Education Initiative is a 5-year program initiated by the Governor in 2005. The program was designed to expand the capacity of nursing education programs in the state and increase the number of nursing students who graduate each year.

Kern Economic Summit
The Kern County Economic Summit has become a premiere event and a staple of the Kern County business and professional community. Now in its ninth year, the Summit presents a much-anticipated analysis of the state of Kern County's economy and the industries that drive it. The summit and the Kern County Economic Journal, published by Abbas Grammy, Professor of Economics in the School of Business and Public Administration, are relied on by the business community as planning tools for business sustainability and growth. The Kern County Economic Summit is co-sponsored by the Kern Economic Development Council and the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce. It will take place this year from 7:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon on Wednesday, March 25, 2009 at the Doubletree Hotel. For more information, contact the Kern Economic Development Center at 862-5150.

Volunteers in Tax Assistance (VITA)
For the past 17 years, the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program at CSUB has helped low-income tax filers prepare and file their federal and state tax returns. This year, twenty-four CSUB accounting students will volunteer to assist approximately 500 tax filers. Since its inception on campus, the program has operated under the direction of Jim Patten, Associate Professor of Finance and Accounting in the School of Business and Public Administration. The service was created by the Internal Revenue Service and is co-sponsored in California by the I.R.S. and the Franchise Tax Board. From this community outreach, our accounting students gain practical, hands-on experience in tax preparation and one of the most important community service accounting activities to add to their resumes. Our community members receive needed assistance and engagement with university students. Our economy benefits from tax revenue generated. Tax preparation assistance is offered this year at Christ the King Church located at 1800 Bedford Way in Oildale. Assistance is offered on Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. through the end of March. Appointments are recommended. The VITA program also is offered in the community at Community Action Partnership of Kern (CAP-K), the Mexican American Opportunity Foundation (MAOF), El Futuro Credit Union, Catholic Charities, Goodwill, the Kern County Housing Authority, and the United Way of Kern County. For more information on CSUB's VITA services or to make an appointment, contact Jim Patten at 654-2339 or jpatten@csub.edu.

Healthy Air Walk 2009
Every two years, CSUB selects a charitable organization to which to give our collective support. We encourage our entire campus community to participate in an annual event which benefits the chosen charity. For 2009 and 2010, we have selected the American Lung Association. The American Lung Association's Healthy Air Walk, formerly known as the Asthma Walk, promotes improved the air quality for our region. The 5K walk encourages participants of all ages and abilities to walk for cleaner air. I encourage you to join team captain Sandie Smith, Human Resources Assistant, and the CSUB Roadrunner Walk Team for the April 4th event at Yokuts Park. Activities begin at 8:30 a.m. The walk begins at 10:00 a.m. Proceeds from the 5K walk will be used to provide free programs and services to sufferers of respiratory illnesses as well as preventive screenings and services. Thank you to Kellie Garcia, Director of Human Services, and the Human Resources staff, who organize our participation in a charitable event each year. To register for Healthy Air Walk 2009, please contact the Human Resources office at 654-2266.

Latina Conference
College sororities and fraternities play an important role in student retention, success, and community engagement after graduation. These student organizations offer academic and social support and a means of cultural expression which allow students to bond with the university and each other. One such student organization is the Theta Sigma Chi Latina Sorority. For the past 14 years, Theta Sigma Chi has sponsored an annual Latina conference focused on the recruitment, enrollment, retention, and graduation of Latina students. The conference targets high school students and counselors and brings them to campus where they engage in workshops and presentations by Latina professionals. Lillian Tafoya, recently elected to the Bakersfield City School District Board of Education, graces the conference as keynote speaker. Also featured are workshops conducted by Mary Amelia Cavazos-Reyna, Janet Millar, Rocio Magallanes, and a student panel discussion. The conference convenes today from 8:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. in the Student Union Multipurpose Room. Applause goes to Maria Delgado, Graduate Programs Evaluator, for organizing this event.

Sustainable CSUB
My signing of the American College and University President's Climate Commitment Letter in 2007 resulted from the collective interest of faculty, staff, and students to move our campus toward carbon neutrality. To determine the baseline of our carbon footprint, the President's Sustainability Committee undertook a greenhouse gas emissions inventory for the campus. The inventory was conducted by Aaron Hegde, Director of the Environmental Resource Management Program, and graduating senior Alexandra De La Mora-Fraire. Inventory results and full report can be found on the ACUPCC website at http://acupcc.aashe.org/ghg-report.php?id=722.

The fourth annual electronic recycling event was the largest recycling event at CSUB to date and was one of the largest on record with Environmental Recyclers International. In a six day period between January 12th and 17th, the CSUB Environmental Committee, Safety & Risk Management staff, and students volunteered their time to collect, segregate, and package ten semi-truckloads of electronic devices. The total collected weighed 128,161 pounds. To date, CSUB's e-waste events have removed a total of 372,732 pounds of compensable electronic waste from Bakersfield and Kern County, including televisions, electronic devices with liquid crystal screens, and computer monitor screens. Funds generated by the events are used by the ERC to purchase recycling bins, plastic lumber for benches and handrails, and other products that enhance the campus recycling effort and help meet goals for environmental sustainability. Congratulations to David Beadle, Director of Safety & Risk Management, and the members of the Environmental Committee for a successful recycling event and for their contribution to helping create a green culture.

Tree Planting
On Saturday, March 28, 2009 at 8:00 a.m., community volunteers will gather at the north end of campus to plant 50 trees. The 15-gallon Southern Live Oak trees will be planted along CSUB Way paralleling Stockdale Highway. The trees are being planted for campus beautification and sustainability in partnership with Pacific Gas & Electric Company, the Kern Tree Foundation, U.S. Irrigation, and the City of Bakersfield. Over the next three years, a total of 150 trees will be planted on campus under this partnership. Please join me in thanking Brent Rush, PG&E Area Manager for Government Relations, for an initial $5,000 donation for the trees; Melissa Iger from the Kern County Tree Foundation; John Tkac of U.S. Irrigation for their donation and installation of the sprinkler system, valued at $7,500; the City of Bakersfield for its donation of four yards of mulch; and Carlos Ortiz, President of CSUB's Associated Students, Inc., for ASi's $2,000 initial contribution toward the establishment of a tree maintenance fund.

Campus Clean-Up Day
The Student Union Board of Directors has partnered with Associated Students, Inc. to host "Campus Clean-Up Day" on Thursday, April 23, 2009 in preparation for Celebrate CSUB! Faculty, staff, administrators, and students are encouraged to join the effort to ensure the campus looks its best prior to our annual Celebrate CSUB! showcase. The event will be held between the hours of 11:00 a.m. -1:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 23rd. Volunteers are asked to gather in front of the Student Union and are invited to wear blue and gold. Teams will be assigned to specific areas around campus. Gloves and trash bags will be provided and prizes will be awarded to the first, second, and third place teams who collect the most trash. Lunch will be provided for all participants. Teams or individuals may join this campus activity by calling the Student Union front desk at 654-2496.

Celebrate CSUB!
Celebrate CSUB, our annual open house, is almost upon us. This year, the event "goes green" with a focus on sustainability. Anchoring the green theme is a Sustainability Summit with keynote speaker, and Earth Day events which include a Green Careers Expo, earth-friendly vendors, exhibits, and activities. The campus and external community can engage in a collaborative art project called "Circle Painting" and are invited to support foster youth by donating luggage to the Henrietta Weill Child Guidance Center's "Luggage of Love" campaign. The Student Recreation Center, our newest green building, will be open for tours and will open for business in the days following Celebrate CSUB. Of course, we will celebrate faculty at our Academic Marketplace along the Red Brick Road, celebrate student life at the Spring Carnival in Runner Park, celebrate incoming students at orientation in the Dore Theatre and, as mentioned above, celebrate sustainability on the Science III lawn. The Majestics return to provide live entertainment and CSUB Idol boasts a $1,000 first prize. On-line registration for Celebrate CSUB is open until March 31st and can be accessed by clicking the "Celebrate CSUB" icon at www.csub.edu. Celebrate CSUB is made possible through the efforts of a broad-based, campus-wide planning group. For more information, please contact Evelyn Coyle, Executive Assistant to the President at 654-2241, Toni Jacobs, Student Teaching Placement Coordinator in the School of Education at 654-2208, or Susan Hopkins, Director of University Events, at 654-2713.

University Council
The next University Council meeting is scheduled for Friday, April 17, 2009 at 2:00 p.m. in the Albertson Room. University Council is an open forum for discussion of campus issues. Faculty, staff, and students are welcome to attend.

I look forward to seeing you around campus or at an upcoming community event.